MLS returns this week for the 2020 season and some of the biggest names in league history are back too.

Former New York Red Bulls superstar Thierry Henry is the new head coach at Montreal Impact, while LA Galaxy great David Beckham is introducing expansion franchise Inter Miami.

However, Galaxy have lost the league's latest superstar after Zlatan Ibrahimovic, who scored 53 goals in two seasons, returned to Milan.

Both Los Angeles clubs are still plotting big seasons, and champions Seattle Sounders look well set for a title defence.

We pose five key questions heading into the new campaign.
 

Can Chicharito follow in Zlatan's footsteps?

The biggest departure of the offseason was followed by the most significant arrival. Javier Hernandez has long been linked with a move to MLS, and Galaxy secured the signing of the ex-Manchester United striker as Ibrahimovic's replacement.

Hernandez does not have the same global appeal as Ibrahimovic, but he may ultimately prove a better fit at Dignity Health Sports Park.

While Ibrahimovic competed for the MLS Golden Boot, Galaxy continued to fall well short of team titles, playing a direct style that suited their talisman but not the rest of their squad. Cristian Pavon and company should now thrive alongside Hernandez.
 

Are Supporters' Shield holders LAFC one-season wonders?

Galaxy did not need to look far for evidence of what could be achieved by a team all pulling in one direction, with Hernandez's Mexico team-mate Carlos Vela leading Los Angeles FC to a dominant record-breaking Supporters' Shield success.

Bob Bradley's LAFC were a joy to watch, but Shield winners have struggled in recent years to maintain standards - Toronto FC providing the most striking example as they slumped from first in 2017 to 19th a year later.

Defender Walker Zimmerman has departed, striker Adama Diomande is starting the season injured, and LAFC suddenly could have their work cut out in 2020.
 

Could Seattle finally provide a serious title defence?

It is not just the Shield that has proven tricky to retain. Not since Galaxy in 2011 and 2012 have a team won MLS Cup two years on the bounce.

Seattle have played Toronto in three of the past four finals, winning twice, and yet there is a decent argument Sounders have not been the best team in the league at any point over this stretch. That should be about to change - despite the disappointment of Thursday's CONCACAF Champions League exit.

The defence has been restructured over the past 12 months, with retired centre-back Chad Marshall a big miss, but there is real depth in midfield and attack. Joao Paulo is an exciting addition, while Jordan Morris is in the form of his career as Seattle aim to build on their second title.
 

Will Henry bounce back from his Monaco misery?

Henry turned Red Bulls into contenders in the twilight of his playing career, but his coaching exploits have not been quite so successful to date. The Arsenal legend lasted just 20 matches in his first senior role with Monaco, losing 11 times and conceding 36 goals.

There was still excitement in Montreal as Henry arrived at Impact, though, with the club in need of a boost. They have missed the playoffs in each of the past three seasons.

But this is no simple second job for Henry as he aims to prove Monaco was a disappointing one-off. Montreal have lost veteran captain Ignacio Piatti and are short in several areas.
 

Do Inter and Nashville look more like Atlanta or Cincinnati?

Beckham's Inter are not the only expansion franchise in 2020, as Nashville also make their debut. The league has swollen from 20 teams in 2016 to 26 today, and there are therefore plenty of examples to consider as they arrive in MLS.

The Miami outfit look to have taken heed of the ambitious Atlanta United, champions in their second season. For Tata Martino, Miguel Almiron and Josef Martinez, read Diego Alonso, Rodolfo Pizarro and Matias Pellegrini.

Nashville's spending has been more modest, trading within the league, but that does not necessarily mean they will follow miserable 2019 basement side FC Cincinnati. Nashville at least look solid.

The 25th edition of MLS gets underway on Saturday and it promises to be the biggest season yet.

David Beckham's Inter Miami and fellow expansion club Nashville SC will enter the league, which will increase to 26 teams.

Seattle Sounders are the defending champions, record-breaking Los Angeles FC will look to go all the way this year after falling short last term, while Arsenal and Barcelona legend Thierry Henry is at the helm of Montreal Impact.

With the season set to kick off, here is a selection of the best Opta facts related to MLS.

 

- Only one of the last eight teams to debut in MLS have won their inaugural match, dating back to Portland Timbers in 2011 (LAFC 1-0 Seattle in 2018). Orlando City and New York City drew against each other in both teams' inaugural match in 2015, while the other five teams that joined the league in that time lost their opening match.

- Of MLS' last nine new teams, only one have failed to score in their inaugural match in the competition. Montreal lost 2-0 to Vancouver Whitecaps in 2012.

- Of the 14 teams to play their inaugural MLS match on the road, only two have managed to win; including Los Angeles in 2018 (also Chicago Fire in 1998, at Miami Fusion). Two more managed draws while 10 of the 14 teams that started on the road lost their inaugural match.

- The last six MLS expansion clubs scored in their first away match in the league dating back to 2015. Five of the teams scored one goal while Atlanta United scored six against fellow newcomers Minnesota United in 2017.

- The last three reigning MLS Cup winners lost the opening match of the following season, including Seattle's 2-1 defeat at Houston Dynamo in 2017 after reigning supreme in 2016.

- LAFC equalled the all-time record for goals scored in a single MLS season last campaign (85 – level with LA Galaxy in 1998). Their striker Carlos Vela also broke the record for single-season goals in MLS history; scoring 34 and beating Josef Martinez's record haul of 31 from 2018.

- Atlanta star Martinez has scored a goal against all 23 of the opposition teams that he has faced in regular-season MLS matches – Nashville will be the 24th different opponent he has played against in the competition.

- New York City's 177 points and 50 wins are both second-most over the past three MLS regular campaigns, both behind Atlanta (182 points and 54 wins). NYC are the only team that have won at least 16 regular-season matches in each of the past three MLS campaigns.

- Last season was the 10th straight in which New York Red Bulls qualified for the MLS postseason. The Red Bulls' 10 successive play-off appearance represent the second-longest active run (Seattle – 11) and the longest in the history of the Eastern Conference.

- New Impact manager Henry took charge of Monaco in Ligue 1 last season between October 2018 and January 2019. During his 12 league games in charge, he won just twice (17 per cent); which was the worst win ratio of every Monaco head coach to take charge of five-plus top-flight games in their history.

- Colorado Rapids have missed the play-offs in three successive MLS seasons for the first time since 2007-2009. They have collected just 106 points over the past three MLS campaigns, only Orlando City (104) have collected fewer among the teams that have been in the league for each season since 2017.

- 85 of LA Galaxy recruit Javier Hernandez's 89 goals within the big five European leagues during his career came from inside the box (96 per cent), including each of the past 30 of these strikes.

Sergio Aguero wants to complete his trophy collection at Manchester City with the Champions League after Sunday's 6-1 win at Aston Villa saw him break a pair of notable Premier League records.

Aguero opened his account for the afternoon at Villa Park with a blistering 20-yard strike that put Pep Guardiola's side 3-0 up inside the opening half hour.

He sashayed past a beleaguered Villa defence to make it 5-0 in the 57th minute, the 31-year-old's 176th Premier League goal seeing him surpass Thierry Henry as the top scoring overseas player in the history of England's top flight.

Aguero completed his hat-trick nine minutes from time, marking a 12th Premier League treble to move him clear of Alan Shearer with the most in the competition.

Having won all of the major domestic honours on offer since joining City in 2011, shining under Roberto Mancini, Manuel Pellegrini and now Guardiola, the 31-year-old has designs on the one competition to have eluded City over the course of a decorated decade.

Real Madrid, the 13-time Champions Leage winners lie in wait for Aguero and his team-mates in this season's last 16.

"I want to keep scoring more goals but it all depends on my team-mates. If he passes to me it's fine," he told Sky Sports, speaking alongside Riyad Mahrez, who scored twice as Villa were put to the sword.

"Normally, I don’t think how many years [I would] be here in one club. When I came here, the club and my team-mates received me very well - in that moment with Mancini.

"I adapted very well. Keep going now.

"I want to keep scoring, keep focused every game. I will be happy if we do a good Champions League."

Mahrez laid on Aguero's hat-trick following a mistake from Villa defender Kortney Hause and marvelled at his team-mate's clinical qualities.

"The statistics speak for themselves," he said. "He is a legend for this club and the Premier League. He shows it week in and week out

"He has a lot of quality but, to be honest, he does not need a lot of chances to score. This shows how big a striker he is."

Aguero is now fourth on the Premier League's all-time list, level with Frank Lampard.

However, he conceded Shearer's towering mark of 260 might just be a little out of reach.

"Okay, well I will try," he chuckled.

"It's too far to Shearer, too much goals. I don’t know – maybe I will try."

Manchester City striker Sergio Aguero has become the highest-scoring overseas player in Premier League history.

The Argentina star's double during Sunday's match at Aston Villa moved him on to 176 goals in England's top flight – one clear of Arsenal and France great Thierry Henry.

Aguero and Henry are undoubtedly two of the finest attacking players ever to have graced the league, but how do their records stack up alongside one another?

With a little help from Opta, we decided to find out.

Henry's home comforts

Both men's scoring rates are remarkably similar, with Henry's 175 goals coming in 258 appearances and Aguero usurping him on his 255th. The City favourite also shades it in terms of minutes per goal, with each strike clocking in at 106.86 minutes alongside Henry's 122.

The two players heavily favour their lethal right feet. Aguero notched 125 with that trusty boot – including his unforgettable title-clincher against QPR in 2012 – and Henry netted 136 with his stronger foot.

Aguero has 33 and 17 left footed and headed goals to Henry's 31 and 6, although the 1998 World Cup winner boasts more from long range – crashing in 29 from outside the penalty area to Aguero's 21.

Under pressure inside the box, Aguero has held his nerve from the spot 26 times to Henry's 23.

Indeed, one of the most significant differentials is home and away goals, with 55 of Henry's coming beyond the environs of Highbury and Emirates Stadium. Aguero has a century of Etihad Stadium strikes (102) but 74 on his travels.

Aguero the Toon tormentor

No Premier League team have felt the force of Aguero more often than Newcastle United. He has 15 goals in 13 appearances against them, although five of those came in the same 6-1 win in 2015.

Tottenham were used to the threat of Henry but nowadays struggle to contain City's prolific Argentine, who has 11 in 15 games versus the north Londoners. Chelsea (10 in 14) are another capital club to have suffered plenty of Aguero punishment.

The distinction of being Henry's most scored against Premier League opponent is a three-way tie between Villa, Charlton Athletic and Middlesbrough, each of whom conceded 12 times to the former Monaco and Juventus forward.

Both Aguero and Henry have delighted their adoring faithful with eight league goals apiece at the expense of Manchester United, although the former's have come at a faster rate, across 893 minutes as opposed to 1,178.

Among his top 10 most agreeable opponents. Aguero's eight goals in eight outings versus Stoke City came across a mere 595 minutes. Henry plundered seven in six versus Portsmouth – a handsome return on 540 minutes' work.

Silva service and Pires the provider

Of course, both men have benefitted considerably from a stellar supporting cast.

No player has assisted Aguero in the Premier League more frequently than David Silva (21), although the former Spain playmaker will leave City at the end of this season, by which point the mercurial Kevin De Bruyne (18) might have already surpassed him.

Yaya Toure's 11 assists for Aguero equalled the tally supplied by Henry's erstwhile attacking ally Dennis Bergkamp, one fewer than the late Jose Antonio Reyes (12).

However, Robert Pires stands clear with 17 Premier League assists for Henry during a period where the duo excelled for club and country.

Another Frenchman, Samir Nasri, assisted Aguero on nine occasions – the same number of goals Freddie Ljungberg and Patrick Vieira laid on for Henry.

When it comes to returning the favour, Henry is clearly out in front with 74 assists to Aguero's 46.

Sergio Aguero is the top-scoring overseas player in Premier League history after he netted twice during Manchester City's match at Aston Villa on Sunday.

The Argentina striker rifled in a blistering strike from 20 yards to give Pep Guardiola's side a 3-0 lead inside half an hour at Villa Park, before collecting a pass from David Silva and placing home his second after the break.

It moved Aguero on to 176 goals in England's top flight, surpassing the mark of 175 established by Arsenal and France great Thierry Henry.

City star Aguero, 31, is now fifth overall on the Premier League's all-time list, behind Frank Lampard (177), Andy Cole (187), Wayne Rooney (208) and Alan Shearer (260).

Aguero, who joined City from Atletico Madrid for £38million in July 2011, is his club's record goalscorer with 248 in all competitions.

One story is dominating the sporting agenda in Spain on Saturday: Xavi's potential return to Barcelona.

The Catalan giants have reportedly earmarked the club great to take over from the under-pressure Ernesto Valverde at the end of the season, and held informal discussions with him on Friday in Doha.

Xavi, 39, is currently coach at Al Sadd but would likely relish a return to Camp Nou, where he won eight LaLiga titles and four Champions League trophies during a glittering playing career.

A strong affinity with a club is not a guarantee of success, however, and we have taken a look at eight other examples of players returning to manage teams they starred for.

 

HITS

Pep Guardiola

After leaving Barcelona as a player in 2001, Guardiola returned as the Barca B boss in 2007 before being promoted to head coach of the first team a year later. Over four years in charge at Camp Nou he led the Blaugrana to 14 trophies, including three LaLiga titles and two Champions League crowns. Success has continued to come Guardiola's way with Bayern Munich and Manchester City.

Zinedine Zidane

World Cup winner Zidane was part of Real Madrid's 'Galacticos' in the early 2000s and he finished his playing career at the Santiago Bernabeu. Like Guardiola, he returned to oversee the second team before stepping up to the top job after the departure of Rafael Benitez in January 2016. Zidane went on to win an unprecedented three successive Champions League titles with Madrid before stepping away in May 2018, only to return 10 months later.

Antonio Conte

In 13 seasons as a player for Juventus, Conte won almost everything there is to win – five league titles, the Coppa Italia, the Champions League and the UEFA Cup. He moved into management two years after retiring and worked his way back to Juve after spells with Arezzo, Bari, Atalanta and Siena. Juve won three straight Scudetti under Conte – the start of their ongoing dominance – before he accepted the Italy job. He is now back in Serie A and thriving with the Old Lady's bitter rivals Inter.

Roberto Di Matteo

Like Lampard, Di Matteo accepted the top job at Chelsea in 2012, having previously been assistant to Andre Villas-Boas. Di Matteo – who won the FA Cup twice with the Blues as a player – went on to lift two trophies as Chelsea boss, including their first Champions League title with a penalty shoot-out win over Bayern Munich, but he was discarded early in the following season.

MISSES

Alan Shearer

Record Premier League goalscorer, Newcastle United legend and lethal England striker – Shearer's playing career was full of success. When he retired in 2006, Shearer moved into television as a pundit, but when the Magpies came calling in 2009 he stepped in to try and save them from relegation. Sadly for Shearer he was unsuccessful, his eight-game reign ending in Newcastle slipping out of the top flight after a 1-0 defeat to Aston Villa on the final day.

Filippo Inzaghi

Employing former players as head coaches had previously worked well for AC Milan – Fabio Capello and Carlo Ancelotti proving particularly successful. When the Rossoneri turned to Inzaghi in 2014 after Clarence Seedorf's brief tenure, the move was therefore no surprise. However, the former striker – who won eight major trophies at the club in his playing days – flopped, winning 14 of his 40 matches in charge as Milan finished 10th, their worst league finish in 17 years.

Thierry Henry

Henry made his name at Monaco after breaking into the first team in 1994, the forward going on to become a world champion and a Premier League icon with Arsenal. After a period as youth coach with the Gunners, Henry was named as Belgium boss Roberto Martinez's assistant. Permanent roles with Bordeaux and Aston Villa were mooted, but in October 2018 Henry chose Monaco. He lasted just three months, losing 11 of his 20 matches in charge across all competitions before being replaced by Leonardo Jardim, the man he had succeeded.

Juan Jose Lopez

One of the most decorated players in River Plate history, having won seven league titles in an 11-year spell, Lopez was a popular appointment after making a strong impact in his second period as caretaker manager in 2010. However, he subsequently presided over a poor 2011 Clausura campaign, forcing River into a play-off against Belgrano, who won 3-1 on aggregate. It was the first time River dropped out of the top tier, sparking riots which left many people injured.

Arsene Wenger's legacy in world football is very apparent, with the number of his former players who are becoming managers rising all the time.

The latest addition to an ever-growing list is Mikel Arteta, who has been appointed as Arsenal's successor to Unai Emery.

Arteta spent five years playing under Wenger at Emirates Stadium, winning a couple of FA Cups during that time.

The Spaniard has a tough task on his hands as he prepares to take over an Arsenal side lying 10th and seven points adrift of the top four in the Premier League.

As Arteta prepares to begin his new venture, we take a look at how other Wenger proteges managed when they swapped the pitch for the dugout.

 

TONY ADAMS

A four-time champion in England's top flight and Arsenal's captain fantastic in Wenger's early years in charge, Adams has not quite matched those lofty standards as a coach.

He had a year at Wycombe Wanderers and a little over three months at Portsmouth, with both spells pretty miserable. When Granada came calling in April 2017 in a desperate bid to avoid relegation from LaLiga, Adams took charge for seven matches and lost all of them.

SOL CAMPBELL

Campbell was another centre-back extraordinaire under Wenger after his acrimonious move from Tottenham, and was only converted to the world of management in November 2018.

The 45-year-old chose a real challenge for his first appointment, taking over Macclesfield Town, who were languishing bottom of League Two before Campbell steered them to a great escape.

He left the financially stricken club in August of this year and has now taken on another ambitious project in the form of League One strugglers Southend United, who have just seven points from 21 matches this term.

REMI GARDE

He only spent three years playing under Wenger before retiring in 1999, winning the Premier League the year before, but it was not until 2011 that Garde took up his first head coach role with Lyon.

Under Garde, Lyon won the Coupe de France in 2012 and the Trophee des Champions in the same year, before he took over at Aston Villa in November 2015. He only lasted until the following March. He was most recently in charge of Montreal Impact before being sacked in August.

OLEG LUZHNY

Luzhny won a Premier League title under Wenger before stints with Wolves and Latvian side Venta, where he became player-coach for a spell in 2005.

After hanging up his boots for good, the former Ukraine international became assistant at Dynamo Kiev and was twice interim head coach before landing the top job at Tavriya Simferopol in 2012. He is now back in Kiev as an assistant again.

PAUL MERSON

Although his finest years as a Gunner preceded Wenger's arrival, Merson did play under the Frenchman for a year before he had spells with Middlesbrough, Aston Villa and Portsmouth.

After joining as a player in 2003, Merson became Walsall manager a year later, but constant line-up changes and supporter unrest led to him being sacked after a 5-0 thrashing by Brentford in February 2006. He is now a television pundit and columnist in the UK.

DAVID PLATT

Platt was approaching the end of a storied career when Wenger took over and the midfielder left after the manager's first two years in charge. He was briefly Sampdoria boss but resigned after six matches, with other Serie A clubs angry that he was appointed without coaching qualifications.

A player-manager spell with Nottingham Forest followed, before three years in charge of England Under-21s. After three years on Manchester City's staff, he spent a year in India with Pune City, and is now part of a consortium that has bought Palermo.

GIOVANNI VAN BRONCKHORST

Van Bronckhorst won the Premier League and FA Cup under Wenger before leaving for four successful years with Barcelona in 2003 - a spell that included a Champions League final triumph over the Gunners. He then returned to boyhood club Feyenoord, finishing his career in 2010.

After a year in charge of Netherlands' Under-21 team, he went back to Feyenoord and worked as assistant coach for four years before taking the top job in 2015. Five domestic trophies – including an Eredivisie title – followed before he departed after the 2018-19 campaign, and he has been tipped for big things. 

PATRICK VIEIRA

An inspirational skipper under Wenger and the leader during a time when Arsenal were at the forefront of English football battling Manchester United. 

Vieira went on to have spells with Juventus, Inter and Manchester City before turning his hand to coaching with New York City, where he spent two years before returning to France to coach Nice. He led the club to seventh last term but they find themselves in 14th after 18 matches so far this campaign.

THIERRY HENRY

Arguably the greatest player to have featured under Wenger for the Gunners, Henry is a Premier League great who became Arsenal's all-time record goalscorer before treading a familiar path to Barcelona.

He later returned to north London for a short loan spell from New York Red Bulls and was appointed assistant coach to Roberto Martinez with Belgium in 2016.

Henry's first stint as a head coach was a disappointing one, winning just four of 20 matches in charge of Monaco – the club where he started his playing career. The France legend will hope for more success in his new venture with Montreal Impact.

Thierry Henry is hoping to learn from his mistakes at Monaco after taking charge of MLS club Montreal Impact.

After assisting Roberto Martinez with Belgium, former Arsenal and Barcelona star Henry took up his first head coach role at Ligue 1 club Monaco in October 2018.

However, despite signing a three-year deal, Henry was dismissed in January, with his predecessor Leonardo Jardim coming in as his replacement. 

Montreal, meanwhile, finished ninth in the Eastern Conference in 2019, with Wilmer Cabrera - who only took charge in August - not offered the chance to stay on as coach.

On his official unveiling as the Impact's new coach, Henry insisted he has put his poor spell at Monaco behind him and is hoping to prove his quality as a coach with Montreal, who will play in the 2020 CONCACAF Champions League.

"You have to start somewhere, that's how you acquire experience," Henry, who has signed a two-year deal with Montreal, told a news conference on Monday.

"For me it came with Belgium and Monaco, where I learned a lot about myself. It's about fighting. This isn't my story but the story of everyone in life. Everyone falls. It's about how you get up.

"It didn't work out at Monaco. I can give you a lot of excuses but at the end of the day it didn't work out and I am here as coach of Montreal.

"I learned a lot there. The only mistake you can make is not learning from what happened. You have to confront it."

Thierry Henry has been named the new head coach of MLS side Montreal Impact.

The former Arsenal and France star has signed an initial two-year deal, with the option of a third.

It is Henry's first coaching job since a troubled 20 games in charge of former club Monaco in Ligue 1 last season.

"We are extremely happy to announce the nomination of this legend of the game," said Impact president and CEO Kevin Gilmore via the club's website.

"Henry will bring a new energy to our club. He shares our vision to elevate this club and will help us achieve our goals on and off the field. He is a competitor and a leader who has proven himself at the highest level throughout his career. He now brings these qualities with him to Montreal, a place he wants to be."

Henry, 42, said: "It's an honour to coach the Montreal Impact and return to MLS.

"It's a league I know well, in which I had some very nice moments. To be in Quebec, in Montreal, which has an enormous multicultural heritage, it's extraordinary. I've always kept an eye on the club and now I'm here."

Henry spent four years with New York Red Bulls after leaving Barcelona in 2010, winning the Supporters' Shield in 2013 after helping his side finish top of the Eastern Conference.

After taking a coaching role with the Arsenal academy following his retirement in 2014, Henry then enjoyed a successful two-year spell as assistant to Roberto Martinez with Belgium.

He took charge of Monaco in October 2018 after the dismissal of Leonardo Jardim, but he was sacked in January this year after managing only four wins in his brief tenure.

Impact, who will play in the 2020 CONCACAF Champions League, finished ninth in the Eastern Conference in 2019.

Thierry Henry believes Kylian Mbappe can beat his France goalscoring record and set the benchmark "very, very high" for generations to come.

Arsenal great Henry scored 51 goals for his country, the most of any France player, in a career that saw triumphs at the 1998 World Cup and Euro 2000.

However, Mbappe, still just 20, has already tallied 13 international goals, also winning a World Cup in Russia in 2018.

The Paris Saint-Germain forward has quickly established himself as one of world football's outstanding talents and appears set to dominate for years to come.

Henry certainly believes that will be the case, explaining when asked by Omnisport if Mbappe could break his record: "With Kylian, we say he's young because of his age but he's not really young anymore because of what he does, because of the amount of games he has played, because of his game IQ.

"I often talk about that because we talk about his speed, his dribbles, his goals, and I think we'll talk about it for 20 more years. It's [a long time], I hope for him, but yes maybe 15, 16 years, 20 years if he can.

"Ibra [Zlatan Ibrahimovic] is still playing [at 38]. If [Mbappe] has no injuries, he'll be called up [to] the national team, of course he will.

"So yes, I think he will set the bar very, very high."

Henry is similarly optimistic France can follow up their World Cup triumph from last year with further success at Euro 2020.

He points out Didier Deschamps' men came close at the last European Championship, losing to Portugal in the final on home soil, before excelling further on the world stage - aided by Mbappe's emergence.

"It's very hard [to win consecutive tournaments] because everybody's waiting for you," Henry said.

"It's not easy to do it again, especially at that level.

"Spain did it three times in a row [from 2008 to 2012]. That French generation could have done the back-to-back [in 2016] but sadly [Portugal goalscorer] Eder decided otherwise, so it could have been three in a row.

"What is remarkable with that generation - and especially with Deschamps, who's there to guide them because he lived it as a player - is that people forget that they reached the final of Euro 2016, and then they won the World Cup.

"Now everybody's waiting for the confirmation. That team has talent, they proved it, they played two finals in a row, one lost, one won.

"What this generation is doing is extraordinary and it's good for French football. But yes they can do it [win again]."

HEINEKEN has announced it will become ‘Official Beer Partner of UEFA EURO 2020™’, and in a separate agreement has extended its UEFA Champions League partnership by another three years, from 2021-24. The new UEFA EURO 2020™ agreement means that Heineken® will be a partner of Europe’s most prestigious club and international football tournaments. Heineken®’s global ambassador Thierry Henry, has previously won both the EURO Championships with France in 2000 and the UEFA Champions League with Barcelona in the 2008/09 season.

Thierry Henry is confident he can become a managerial success, despite being sacked three months into his first job as head coach of Monaco.

The 42-year-old was suspended and then dismissed by the Ligue 1 side in January after a run of four wins in 20 matches.

He had previously worked as assistant to Roberto Martinez with the Belgium national team before making the transition into management.

Seven months on from leaving Stade Louis II, former Arsenal striker Henry has targeted a return to the sport and revealed he has already received a number of offers.

"Call me crazy if you want, but I love football and I still believe I can be a successful coach," he told The Telegraph. 

"I'm not thinking about the pain, I'm not thinking about failure. I don't like easy. I like to lead and it's on me to make it happen. The same when I joined Arsenal as a player, the same when I went to Belgium with Roberto. It's an evolution. 

"My phone didn't ring for four months after I left Monaco and then all of a sudden I got five calls. Some were not what I was looking for and some were as a number two - very interesting offers, but I can't leave my staff behind. 

"I've got guys who stopped working for me and what do I say to them? 'Hey guys, you stopped working for me but now I've got a job'. I won't do a number two job because I want to be a number one."

Henry does not regret taking on the Monaco job and is grateful to have been given a chance at the club where he started his player career, but admitted he will think carefully before accepting his next position.

"There is something I always say," he said. "You win or you learn and, as you can imagine, I learned a lot. 

"I still have Monaco in my heart, it's the club that gave me my first opportunity as a player and gave me my first opportunity as a coach, so I will always be thankful to the people who gave me that, people who are there, some are gone.

"My heart talked at the time. I wanted to go back to where I started everything. I have zero regrets about what happened. It was a very difficult task and I felt that if I'd had more time I could have done more.

"If I knew I only had three months, then maybe I would have acted a different way, but I was trying to plan something for the future and doing that in such a little amount of time is very difficult."

Henry failed to inspire a turnaround during his short time at Monaco, leaving the club a point and a place above the bottom of the Ligue 1 table.

Leonardo Jardim, the man Henry replaced, was appointed as the Frenchman's successor and kept them in the top flight.

"I'm proud of what we did achieve with such a young team," Henry said. "We had to win in Caen and Amiens, and those six points were very important. I had no doubt that team was going to stay up because there was enough quality.

"I am not complaining and I can only say thank you to everybody, but to build a legacy and build something for the future, it takes time."

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang marked his 50th Premier League appearance with a neatly taken winner in Arsenal's 1-0 victory at Newcastle United on Sunday.

Last season's joint Golden Boot winner peeled away from Jamaal Lascelles in the second half and poked past Martin Dubravka to open his account for the campaign and secure Unai Emery's men three valuable away points.

It was the Gabon international's 33rd goal in the competition, his strike rate superior to each of the Arsenal forwards who reached a half-century of appearances before him.

As he moves into his second full season at the club, the 30-year-old might begin to set his sights on challenging the all-time tallies.

Here are the three men to have gone closest to his scoring return after 50 Premier League games for the Gunners, and how they fared in subsequent years.

Thierry Henry: 30 goals from first 50 appearances

Henry moved through the gears after settling quickly into London life following his move from Juventus in 1999.

Converted into a central striker by Arsene Wenger, the former winger notched 17 goals in each of his first two Premier League campaigns.

In the five seasons that followed, he never failed to score fewer than 24.

Henry left as a legend when he joined Barcelona in 2007 and returned to a hero's welcome for a short-lived swansong in 2012, adding one last strike - a winner against Sunderland - to his final Premier League tally of 175 goals.

No one has come close to that haul in an Arsenal shirt, and only four individuals have scored more in the competition.

After 50-match milestone: 145 goals from 208 appearances

Ian Wright: 24 goals from first 50 appearances

Before the elegant Henry arrived, supreme poacher Wright commanded the adoration of Highbury.

The diminutive Londoner made an immediate impression after moving across town from Crystal Palace for a club-record fee, scoring 24 times in the old First Division and contributing almost a goal every other game throughout his first 50 outings in the Premier League.

That rate improved as he aged: Wright netted 89 more for the Gunners before signing off with a first Premier League winners' medal in 1998.

His frequency in front of goal had started to slow by then, but the legacy will last.

After 50-match milestone: 89 goals from 163 appearances

Alexis Sanchez: 22 goals from 50 appearances

It is not all titles, statues and ambassadorial roles for former Arsenal forwards.

Sanchez arrived as a statement signing from Barcelona in 2014 and was an all-action, free-scoring breath of fresh air at a stale Emirates Stadium.

He reached 50 matches in his second season, scoring 20 goals along the way, and accelerated in a 24-goal third term.

But the Chile international would be gone midway through the fourth, moving to Manchester United in an ill-fated swap deal with Henrikh Mkhitaryan that has paid little in the way of dividends for either club.

The three Premier League goals he has scored for the Red Devils serve as a cautionary tale for Aubameyang.

After 50-match milestone: 38 goals from 72 appearances

Monaco have agreed a deal with Chelsea to bring Spain midfielder Cesc Fabregas to Ligue 1.

The 31-year-old had been out of favour at Stamford Bridge this season and, with his contract expiring in June, has departed for the French top flight on a three-and-a-half-year contract.

Fabregas joined Chelsea from Barcelona in 2014 and had initially been a key player for Jose Mourinho and Antonio Conte, winning the Premier League title under both.

However, Maurizio Sarri's arrival ahead of 2018-19 effectively spelled the end of Fabregas' Chelsea career, as the Italian brought in his former Napoli midfielder Jorginho, who instantly took the Spaniard's position.

The transfer brings Fabregas' long association with English football to an end, at least for the time being, having played 501 times for Arsenal and Chelsea.

"It is a great pleasure to join AS Monaco, a new project for me," said Fabregas. "The group is of quality with young players and a young coach. 

"I'm here to help the team, I'm looking forward to starting, we have a great match to play in Marseille on Sunday. I am very excited."

Fabregas' move also sees him reunite with former Gunners team-mate Thierry Henry.

Henry spoke at a news conference on Monday confirming his interest in Fabregas, whom he claims to have spoken to "three times a week since 2007" when the Frenchman left Arsenal for Barca.

Vice-president Vadim Vasilyev added: "We are very pleased to welcome to AS Monaco Cesc Fabregas, a world-class player and a great professional, whose arrival demonstrates the ambition of the club. 

"This is obviously a very good technical reinforcement for the team but we are convinced that his experience at the highest level will bring a lot to our players on and off the field."

Monaco will hope Fabregas' signing can provide the necessary spark to help them avoid the drop.

Henry's side are second from bottom in Ligue 1 and five points adrift of safety after an abysmal start to the season which has seen them win just three times in 18 matches.

Thierry Henry's first game in charge of Monaco ended in a 2-1 defeat as Strasbourg profited from a Seydou Sy goalkeeping howler and a Samuel Grandsir red card. 

Thierry Henry has revealed that he turned down "some very attractive offers" before signing a three-year deal as Monaco coach. 

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